The Rhode Island Writing Project's Summer Institute begins this morning, and for the first time since arriving at the RIWP in 2004, I will be co-facilitating the SI. In the world of the Writing Project, this is an assignment unlike any other, a coveted post within a network of exceptional teacher leaders, a chance to practice, practice, practice what we preach.
Our first day looks like most Writing Project first days. It will begin with some low-stakes writing and talking, icebreakers and a community-building activity: a partner interviewing activity adapted from an idea in Linda Rief's Seeking Diversity. After that, we will take a break to mingle and talk over muffins, croissants, danish and coffee. Then, we will break into groups and visit stations around the room, responding to these three questions: What does it mean to teach powerfully? What does digital literacy mean to you? What does a writing-centered classroom look like? After examining, writing about, and discussing the results of this activity, we will Introduce Writer's Notebooks (a la Ralph Fletcher's Breathing In, Breathing Out) and do some writing and sharing to close out our first day together: What is your earliest memory as a writer? Of writing?
I look forward to meeting our ten teacher participants in a couple hours. I feel grateful to have this opportunity to work with teachers who are eager to dive in, to learn with their peers and to write with their peers. Stay tuned to see what happens!